“#North Carolina lawmaker blasts Black Lives Matter protesters as ‘vermin’”
Republican Rep. Larry Pittman of Cabarrus County began the Monday night post by lashing out at “gutless” public officials “who are bowing down to Black Lives Matter.”
He singled out Seattle — where protesters have set up a cop-free autonomous zone — and called out the city’s Democratic mayor, Jenny Durkan, arguing that she “betrayed the citizens there by allowing the anti-American actions of those ignorant thugs to go unchallenged.”
“Even some police officers are giving in to the pressure to kneel down to these criminals,” he added. “Unfortunately, some of the great law enforcement officers who deserve to wear the badge are becoming so discouraged because of how their chiefs and other public officials have abandoned them that they are resigning when they have done nothing wrong.”
He insisted that “law and order must be restored” and that police officers should shoot protesters who resist or attack them.
“This is war,” he wrote. “Our people have a right to expect our leaders to be on our side, not surrender to the lawless, godless mob.”
Pittman, 65, also a pastor, is running for his fifth term in November, The Charlotte Observer reported.
The post comes amid nationwide protests over the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“These vermin don’t care about George Floyd or any other individual, except maybe their financial sponsor, George Soros,” Pittman wrote. “They are bent on destroying our country and our way of life, and they will use any tragedy, any slogan, any excuse to convince clueless people that their radical injustice is justice.”
Dozens of commenters slammed Pittman for the post.
“Larry is nothing more than a small-minded bigot and a chicken-s–t bully,” David M. Daniels wrote. “He’s the type of little town loser who talks tough, but wets his pants around people of conviction.”
“I am a citizen of Cabarrus County and am horrified and disgusted by your views,” Melinda Metz added.
Democrat Gail Young, Pittman’s Democratic opponent in the November election, called the lawmaker’s post “just the latest in a long series of incendiary and divisive comments from Rep. Pittman.”
“I’m deeply disappointed that he would choose to incite violence in these already difficult times for so many families,” she said in a statement issued to the Observer. “I’ll be a leader who seeks to bring us together and I’ll work to make sure people in Cabarrus County feel safe and healthy.”
Pittman is no stranger to controversy. In 2017, he compared Abraham Lincoln to Adolf Hitler, according to the Observer.
“Lincoln was the same sort if [sic] tyrant, and personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,000 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional,” he wrote.
He later amended his statement.
“While both Lincoln and Hitler were obviously bad guys, what Hitler did was worse and I apologize if people thought I was putting them in the same league,” he said, according to the report.
Shortly after his appointment to the House in 2011, he advocated a return to public hangings, including for doctors who perform abortions, the paper reported.
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